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Power of Relationships

How one Professional Advisor helped open 100 funds with the Foundation

Robert “Bob” Chandler is a retired estate planner with 47 years of experience. In December 2019 he stepped down from shared practice with fellow estate planner Paul D. Brown at Chandler and Brown, Ltd. He has been recognized by the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business as among the top five percent of advisers in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving and business planning for the Twin Cities metro area, based on an independent survey measuring client satisfaction.

How long have you worked with the Foundation?

I’ve worked with the Foundation for four decades. You have become a strategic partner on our estate planning team. The staff is knowledgeable and downright fun to work with. My clients have a love and appreciation for the Foundation, as do I.

How long have you worked in your field, and what do you love most about what you do?

I’ve been an estate planning lawyer for 47 years. My colleagues and staff have been like family. Helping my wonderful clients identify goals and then, over time, achieve them has been gratifying.

It’s an awesome responsibility having clients trust me with the ultimate distribution of everything they have to the causes they care about most. I have watched clients’ kids grow up, and then those kids have become clients. In some cases we have worked with four generations of family members.

Why do you think it's important to partner with a community foundation?

It’s important to partner with a community foundation because they are often at the center of philanthropy and know the assets and problems in their community. You are in a unique position to impact permanent and substantial improvement in people’s lives. Community foundations also have technical expertise to assist practitioners in fashioning charitable solutions for their clients.

What did you love or appreciate about working with us?

The strength of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation is its incredible people. Your current leader, Dr. Eric Jolly, has laid out a vision for community philanthropy that is the strongest and most profound I’ve ever heard or seen from a leader.

Then there’s the staff. You are knowledgeable in the tools and techniques of charitable giving and know how to put clients at ease. Your team also can reduce complex issues and turn them into straightforward and equitable solutions.

Why do you think charitable giving is so important?

There is nothing more deeply satisfying than giving. It’s the ultimate luxury. Churchill once said, “Our living consists of what we get, Our lives consist of what we give. Caring for the welfare of others is what makes us fully human.”

Why do you think it is important for more people in your field to talk to their clients about philanthropy?

Practitioners often assume clients want to leave everything to family, but increasingly that’s not the case. Children are sometimes doing better than their parents and don’t need it. I ask clients, “Are you willing to limit the gifts to kids?”

If the answer is “yes,” then the surplus is the subject for charitable giving. I think it is an important question for all estate planners to ask because it helps in identifying and verifying a client’s goals.

You recently retired. What’s next for you?

I plan to spend more time at my home in Arizona and do more international travel — and of course work for the causes I care about.

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